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Hungary / Romania : The Water Framework Directive implementation in the Körös/Crisuri transboundary basin Large project

Published 2008

The project for the Körös/Crisuri, tributary of the Tisza in the great Danube Basin, started in 2005, is now ending: the two concerned countries, Hungary and Romania, are now members of the European Union and apply, in a convergent way, the same community legislation. The methodological and practical contribution of the French experts was useful to develop the new practices necessary for the Water Framework Directive implementation.

The project exceeded its initial objectives with the finalization of one of the very first Management Plans for the Danube Basin, as required by the WFD for 2009.

Jointly financed by the French Fund for Global Environment (FFEM) with one million Euros, this project, being carried out in the middle of the Tisza, main tributary of the Danube and shared by Hungary, Romania, the Ukraine, Slovakia, and Serbia, is of major interest to this region.

Carried out by IOWater under the aegis of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), this project allowed true cooperation between Hungary and Romania for the creation of a management body, coordinating the work of the two national parts of the basin.

In a first phase, "organizational blocks" were created for data management, the introduction of mechanisms for regional dialogue, the harmonization of the delimitation of ground Water Bodies and the monitoring of ground and surface waters, the economic analysis, from the analysis of cost recovery to the choice of the best measures to be taken, the projection of the trends up to 2015, and the organization of accidental pollution control.

This preliminary work allowed the progressive drawing up of two international documents showing the high level of coordination reached by the two basin’s countries at the end of the project, i.e.:
* A Management Plan for the Körös/Crisuri, in accordance with WFD requirements;
* A plan for the prevention of accidental pollution, which was tested during an international project in June 2007.

After 2 years of work and many assignments, the following exemplary results can be underlined:

- Development of a catalogue of shared metadata, thanks to an application software provided by IOWater;

- Creation of a website, hosted by ICPDR (www.icpdr.org), entirely devoted to the project, with the various experts’ reports;

- Checking that the Objectives of Good water Status would be achieved in 2015, according to the implementation of the Program of Measures proposed through modeling;

- Implementation of joint work aiming at harmonizing the methods for sampling fish and invertebrates for the realization of a Biological Quality Index;

- Training on quality management in the laboratories analyzing the basin water and implementation of a blank quality audit;

- Testing a public consultation on significant basin issues in the two countries for preparing the national phase;

- Drafting of a detailed economic analysis of the measurements planned for the project;

- Drafting of a guidance document on the implementation of the various stages of the planning process necessary for the development of the Management Plan;

- Presentation of the project results during various international meetings and design of a brochure for disseminating the obtained results.

At the end of this particularly profitable project, we deplore the death in May 2007 of one of its craftsmen, Mr. Petru Serban, Romanian Water Director in Apele Romane, who led his country on the way to integrated water resources management and widely contributed to the success of the project by his direct personal involvement in the activities and his active participation in the steering committee.